Background: Based on advances over several decades, a significant number of autoantibodies are aiding the diagnosis, differential diagnosis and even prognostic estimates of patients with connective tissue diseases (CTD). Based on cost and time constraints, multiplex assays are used more and more in routine practice. Here we describe the evaluation results of a novel spot immunoassay (SeraSpot® ANA) for multiplex analysis of the main CTD specific autoantibodies, which is based on autoantigens immobilized on microtitration plates.
Methods: For evaluation of the ANA spot immunoassay, comprising dsDNA, histone, nucleosome, Scl-70, U1-RNP (mixture of U1-RNP-A, C, and 70k), Sm (SmD), RibP (P0), Ro52/TRIM21, Ro60, La/SS-B, CENP-B, Jo-1, PM/ Scl-100, and Ku as target antigens, sera of 489 patients with systemic autoimmune rheumatic disease (SARD), sera of 54 patients with herpes virus infections, and sera of 202 apparently healthy individuals (AHI) were tested.
Results: The concordance between the SeraSpot and EIA results of disease specific autoantibodies (AABs) was high (94 - 97% for CENP-B, Jo-1, Scl-70, Sm, La, Ro52 and Ro60 antibodies) to moderate (86.7% for dsDNA antibodies), and no major differences in the frequency of these AABs in patients with CTD were observed. In SLE patients, the SeraSpot results of dsDNA antibodies correlate better with CLIFT results and HEp-2 cell pattern than the EIA results. The diagnostic specificities of SLE, SSc, SjS, and myositis specific AABs are very high (96.5 - 100%) compared to apparently healthy individuals, but lower with regard to serological differentiation of the SARD entities (86.6 - 99.1%). However, very high positive likelihood ratios (10 up to infinite) could be obtained by disease specific AAB profiles.
Conclusions: The SeraSpot® ANA assay allows the detection of 14 AAB specificities used for the diagnosis and dif-ferentiation of CTD in one approach. Although the concordance between the SeraSpot® assay and EIA is moderate for most of the tested AAB specificities, defined AAB profiles are suitable for the correct diagnosis of the CTD entities. If time matters, the authors suggest the parallel employment of immunofluorescence on HEp-2 cells and the SeraSpot® ANA assay for screening and specific AAB determination of patients with suspected CTD.